Change in states with the particle 了
The modal particle 了 has several uses. One of them is to indicate the change in the state of something or introduce a new situation.
Affirmative sentences
We use the modal particle at the end of a sentence to indicate that a situation has changed or new circumstances have appeared. In these sentences, we usually use a predicate which is expressed by an adjective.
It’s getting cold
tiān lěng le
It suddenly started to rain
tūrán xià yǔ le
To indicate a change in the state of something, we sometimes we use the modal particle 了 with a list of verbs which don't usually combine with了 in their other meanings.
Pay attention
Here we are using 了 in the past tense or as a verb suffix.
These are the verbs: 1) verbs that express a state or do not indicate an active action. For example:
I am a college student now
wǒ shì dàxuéshēng le
2) verbs that express feelings and emotions. For example:
I'm sure you'll grow to like her in time
wǒ kěndìng nǐ mànman jiù huì xǐhuan tā le
3) With modal verbs. For example:
I can speak Chinese now
wǒ huì shuō zhōngwén le
How to use 了 in the negative sentences
To construct negative sentences, we should use the particle (except with the verb 有). We can translate these sentences as “no longer…”, “not anymore…”.
Pay attention
We still should use the particle 了 even when we talk about a change in the situation.
I don't study French anymore
wǒ bù xué fǎyǔ le
We are out of money now
wǒmen méi qián le
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